Update: A person familiar with the hack is now claiming that the Michigan Democratic party brought on a group of volunteer white hat hackers, DigiDems, to perform “penetration testing” of the voter file. And they did so without notifying the DNC. This update is still developing…
The Democratic National Committee has reached out to the FBI after a sophisticated hacking attempt was launched against the organization’s voter database.
The DNC learned of the attack on Tuesday when a cloud service provider and security research firm noticed a fake login page that was being used to collect usernames and passwords. If successful, the login page would have allowed hackers to gain access to sensitive voter information.
According to CNN, “the page was designed to look like the access page Democratic Party officials and campaigns across the country use to log into a service called Votebuilder, which hosts the database.”
At this time it’s not clear who was attempting to steal user data. The DNC also has no reason to believe that any sensitive voter information was accessed because of the attempt.
News of the hacking attempt arrives just one day after Microsoft warned that an operation linked to Russian military intelligence was targeting the US Senate and conservative think tanks who have focused on attacking Russian policy.
With less than three months until the 2018 midterm elections, it appears that Russian intelligence and other agencies will not stop their attempts to drive pro-Russian messaging to U.S. voters.
News of the hacking attempt arrives the same day that Facebook announced the closure of hundreds of pages that were spreading propaganda, both in Russia and various other locations around the world.
“We’ve removed 652 Pages, groups and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran and targeted people across multiple internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, UK and U.S.,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, wrote in a post on Wednesday.
Remember, always verify the information you receive on social media because there’s a very real chance the unbelievable stories you are reading were creating for nefarious purposes.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.